Stress fractures are tiny, hairline cracks in the bone caused by repetitive force that can occur in the lower extremities including the foot. If left untreated stress fractures can lead to a complete break in the foot.
Signs and Symptoms
Stress fractures can show up as pain, swelling, redness and possible bruising.
Who's At Risk
- Runners and other athletes who play basketball, tennis, or gymnastics.are most at risk. It's important for any athlete to increase their training schedule gradually.
- Increased activity in those who live a sedentary lifestyle: e.g. non-athletes who take up a new sport and push themselves too hard
- Underweight women runners (see below)
- Women with an eating disorder who develop amenorrhea
- People with flatfoot or other biomechanical foot problems
- Improper shoes
- Post menopausal women who have developed osteoporosis
Underweight Women Runners
After confirming the problem through X-rays or other imaging, stress fractures are usually treating by recommending rest and by immobilizing the foot. Surgery may be needed to stablize the stress fracture or to repair a stress fracture that has progressed to a fracture.
For information about other types of heel pain visit:
If you're noticing any of the symptoms above, it's important to make an appointment right away with a foot and ankle surgeon. Call us at 206-368-7000 or make an appointment online.